Premium visa for long-term stays as a bridge until opening for travellers
Currently, all the Mauritius Tourist Promotion Authority can do to advertise the island’s natural beauty is show images of turquoise lagoons. Visitors need to have patience. At ITB Berlin NOW Arvind Bundhun, director of the MTPA, expressed his hope that he could perhaps welcome more visitors again this summer. Mauritius is gradually easing travel restrictions and since 1 October 2020 has opened its borders to Mauritian nationals, residents and tourists aiming to stay longer on Mauritius. Everyone has to take a PCR test seven days before travelling and must quarantine in approved accommodation for 14 days after arrival. This means booking a quarantine package beforehand which includes prior-approved accommodation, a transfer to the hotel and full board, where PCR testing is carried out on days 7 and 14 of the quarantine period.
Arvind Bundhun said that a further opening of the borders for international tourists could take place in the summer, but this would require a high vaccination rate among the population. It has not yet been decided whether vaccination will be a prerequisite for entry. Until then, live cams on the website www.mauritiusnow.com will provide a colourful link to Mauritius.
A so-called premium entry visa would permit long-term stays for visitors to Mauritius, where they could work from home for instance. Should travel restrictions be eased this summer Mauritian tourism managers were hoping for around 300,000 international visitors during the remaining five to six months of 2021 – over 733,000 visitors arrived between July and December 2019.
In the long term Mauritius intended to give highest priority to sustainable tourism, Bundhun said. Health safety was also an imperative in that respect.
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